1997-2001 Honda CR250 Rear Wheel Bearings Change

Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement

Replacing the rear wheel bearings on your ’97-’01 Honda CR250 is a very simple job, but the bearings are a driven fit, so you will need fire and a hammer to remove them.

1997-2001 Honda CR250 Rear Bearings ChangeThe Tools You Will Need

  • A garage floor
  • Two long 2x4s
  • 27mm Socket and breaker bar for the axle nut
  • 13mm wrench for chain adjuster jam nut
  • 10mm wrench for chain adjuster
  • A block of wood
  • A Tire Spoon
  • 44mm Bearing retainer tool
  • A drift
  • 19mm socket for the inner bearing race
  • 27mm socket for outer bearing race
  • A Socket wrench extension
  • A Propane Torch
  • A Hammer
  • A finishing file
  • Parts cleaner
  • A Clean towel
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves

Specialty Tools

Besides the block of wood, the only specialty tool you will need is the bearing retainer tool. I would typically make a DIY tool for this sort of thing, but there are two very good reasons not to.

As you will find out, the bearing retainer is very brittle, so using a homemade tool can easily break it. Secondly, the retainer tool only costs $13, whereas the retainer itself costs $16.

Not only will breaking the retainer cost more, but now you have to order a new one and wait around while your friends go riding without you.

You Can Get Parts And Tools Through Our Partner Links HERE!

Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement Parts

The only parts you will need are a set of new ’97-’01 Honda CR250 bearings and seals

I am installing a set of factory links bearings and seals.

I run factory links because their bearings are double shielded. This means I don’t need to pre-grease them, and because they are sealed, they will resist water contamination longer than single shield bearings.

If you haven’t ordered your new bearings yet, I put a link below for the exact ones I use.

Before You Begin: Your rear wheel has three bearings, two on the sprocket side, and one on the brake side.  Always start and end with the brake side bearing. To get a better idea of what you’re working with, learn how the rear wheel hub works on your CR250 first.

Rear Wheel Bearing Removal

 (Click To Enlarge)
Step 1: Remove the rear wheel.


  • 27mm Socket
  • 10mm & 13mm wrench
  • A block of wood
 Step 1 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Remove Rear Wheel
Step 2: Remove the bearing retainer.


  • 44mm retainer tool
  • matching wrench or socket
 Step 2 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Remove Bearing Retainer
Align your bearing retainer tool with the teeth on the bearing retainer and firmly turn it.  If it does not turn, do not force it, you could break it.

Instead, tap the end of your wrench with a hammer until you see the retainer turn.

 Yellow Safety Triangle
Step 3: Pry out the old seals.


  • Tire Spoon

There should be a shallow grease lip inside the old seal.  Hook this with your tire spoon and pry it out.

 Step 3 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Remove Old Seal
Step 4: Once the old seals are out, clean the seal bore. Step 4 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Clean Seal Bore
Step 5: Dislodge the distance collar.


  • Drift
Step 6: Insert your drift from the sprocket side, up to, but not touching the brake side bearing. Work your drift up and down to dislodge the distance collar. Step 5 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Insert DriftStep 6 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Dislodge Distance Collar
Remove the brake side bearing.


  • 19mm socket
  • Socket wrench extension
  • Propane torch
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
Step 7: Place your wheel brake side up on your 2x4s, so only the rim and tire are supporting the wheel. Step 7 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Wheel On 2x4
Step 8: Heat the hub, not the bearing, for 60 seconds. This makes the hub expand slightly, which relieves the pressure on the bearing. Step 8 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Heat Hub
Step 9 & 10: Flip your wheel over and align your socket to the INNER bearing race, and tap until the brake side bearing falls out. Step 9 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Tap Out Break Side Rear Wheel BearingsStep 10 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Brake Side Bearing And Distance Collar On Ground
Do not strike the bearing too hard! The sprocket side bearings are seated against a lip inside the hub.

Striking the inner bearing race too hard will break the sprocket side bearings, then you have to chip the outer bearing race out of the hub.

This is annoying, and you could damage the hub.

Yellow Safety Triangle
Step 11: Repeat this process for the sprocket side bearings Step 11 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Heat Sprocket Side Bearing

Rear Hub Maintenance

Step 12, 13, 14, & 15: Clean and inspect the hub, hub components, and swing arm mounts for any signs of wear or damage.


  • A finishing file
  • Parts cleaner
  • A Clean towel
  • Safety glasses

File off any burrs or chips.

 Step 12 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Clean Hub Components Step 13 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Clean Left Swingarm Step 14 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Clean Right Swingarm Step 15 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - File Hub Components
Do not remove any material when smoothing the ends of the hub components. The spacers and distance collar need to be an exact length to work properly. If the ends are damaged, they need to be replaced.Yellow Safety Triangle
Water has contaminated this hub assembly, and the distance collar and hub have some corrosion. Damaged Hub From Water Contamination
Step 16: If you find this on your bike, file off the corrosion as much as you can without removing too much metal, then think about the importance of grease and good seals.Step 16- 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - File Distance Collar
Step 17 & 18: Once everything is cleaned and smoothed, test fit your new bearings. They are a driven fit, so they should NOT slip into the bore.

If your bearings do slip into the bore, you will need to replace your hub.

Step 17 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Test Fit Brake Side Bearing Step 18 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Test Fit Sprocket Side Bore

Rear Wheel Bearing Installation


  • 27mm socket
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves


  • Fresh bearings and seals
  • Bucket of grease
Step 19: Set your wheel on your block of wood sprocket side up, so only the hub is supported.

Step 20: Grease the bore, then line up your new bearing flush to the hub.

 Step 19 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Apply Grease To BoreStep 20 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Align New Inner Bearing
Step 21: Align your large socket to the OUTER bearing race, and drive the bearing into the bore. Step 21 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Drive Inner Bearing
Step 22 & 23: Apply another coat of grease and repeat the driving process with the second bearing. Step 22 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Apply Grease For Outer BearingStep 23 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Drive Outer Seal
Step 24 & 25: Apply another coat of grease, and drive your seal into the bore, making sure the seal retention spring is facing in. Step 24 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Grease Bearing SealStep 25 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Drive Bearing Seal
Step 26: Stack your spacers and axle block on the axle, and drop into the hub, then flip your wheel over. 

Step 27: The axle will now be the guide to align the distance collar with the brake side bearing.

 Step 26 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - How to Replace Instert AxleStep 27 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - How to Replace Axle is Now Guide

Brake Side Bearings

Step 28: Apply grease to both ends of the distance collar, and drop it into the hub. Step 28 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Grease and Install Distance Collar
Step 29 & 30: Grease the bore, and install your last bearing. Step 29 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Grease Brake Side Bearing Step 30 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Drive Brake Side Bearing
Step 31: Install the bearing retainer hand tight. Step 31 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Install Bearing Retainer
Step 32: Apply your last layer of grease, and install the bearing seal, spring side in. Step 32 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Install Brake Side bearing Seal
Step 33: Torque the bearing retainer to 33 ft-lb
 Step 33 - 1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Torque Bearing Retainer
Remember to take your time, and your bearing replacement will go smoothly. Yellow Safety Triangle
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Keep Your ’97-’01 CR250 Running Right!


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